Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Biology, Morality and Politics of Addiction - Dr Gabor Maté - The Freedomain Radio Interview

From Freedomain Radio. Mate's new book, In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, is getting a lot of good press. I am also a fan of his views on ADHD, seeing it less as a biological illness needing drugs and more as a cultural-environmental disorder treatable through therapy, nutrition, and other non-pharmaceutical supports.

In some ways - thinking in a cultural levels parts model - addicts are the exiled parts in our society who have taken on extreme behaviors (the addiction) as a result of our sick society (the cultural Self). And we have exiled them to prison, rather than help them with the illness, because we are unwilling as a culture to look at how sick we really are.

I don't know that Mate would agree - but that was what occurred to me as I listened to this interview.
Dr Gabor Maté reveals the biological basis of addiction, and the insanity of the statist war on drugs.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944, Gabor Maté emigrated to Canada with his family in 1957. After graduating with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and a few years as a high school English and literature teacher, he returned to school to pursue his childhood dream of being a doctor.

Dr. Maté ran a private family practice in East Vancouver for over twenty years. He was also the Medical Co-ordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital for seven years.

Currently he is the staff physician at the Portland Hotel, a residence and resource centre for the people of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Many of his patients suffer from mental illness, drug addiction and HIV, or all three.

Dr. Maté has had regular medical columns in The Vancouver Sun and the national Globe and Mail.

Widely recognized for his unique perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder, and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health, he is a sought-after speaker and seminar leader on these topics.

He is the author of four books -- When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder. The third book, Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, he co-authored with developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld. Most recently published is In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction.

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